India wicket-keeper batter Sanju Samson said that it has been “tough” for him to remain on the sidelines throughout his international career, but he prefers to stay positive.
Having made his International debut in a T20I against Zimbabwe in the year 2015, the Kerala cricketer has played only in seven ODIs and 16 T20Is to date.
Samson finally got chances in the second-string side in the team’s recent tour of Ireland, West Indies and Zimbabwe. He will make way for regular keeper-batter Rishabh Pant when the Asia Cup begins in the UAE.
“I am a believer that whatever you go through in your career, you have to take it in a positive manner,” Samson expressed.
“It’s very tough, it definitely gets into your head when you know that all your friends are playing and you’re not,” Samson said.
Despite playing so little, Samson said he’s fortunate to have a “good fan following”.
“I feel surprised (on his fan following) that despite playing very little for India, I get good support.”
Samson, who took three catches, played a major role in India’s successful 162-run chase with an unbeaten 43 not out to return with the man-of-the-match in the second ODI against Zimbabwe on Saturday.
Batting at six, the Kerala player struck four sixes and three boundaries in his 39-ball knock.
“I feel there are a lot of Malayalis (in the crowd) as I hear cheers of ‘Chetta Chetta’ (elder brother) which make me feel proud,” he said.
Having led Rajasthan Royals to their second final in the IPL history this year, Samson credited domestic cricket for his growth as a player.
“I really enjoyed playing domestic cricket for the last four-five years. It is challenging to do well there and that has made me a better player.
Samson finished among the top 10 leading run-getters in the IPL-2022 with 458 runs from 17 matches.
He further said captaining the Royals was a big turning point for him.
“It (IPL) has changed my perspective towards cricket. Earlier I used to think only about my batting, my game. Captaincy helps bring about a different mindset, think about others as well apart from your game,” he concluded.
(Inputs from PTI)